The Daily 202: Email to Donald Trump Jr. could be a smoking gun, as Russia connections deepen – Washington Post

THE BIG IDEA: There is a paper trail.

Last night, the New York Times reported: “Before arranging a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer he believed would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy, according to three people with knowledge of the email. The email to the younger Mr. Trump was sent by Rob Goldstone, a publicist and former British tabloid reporter who helped broker the June 2016 meeting. In a statement on Sunday, Mr. Trump acknowledged that he was interested in receiving damaging information about Mrs. Clinton, but gave no indication that he thought the lawyer might have been a Kremlin proxy. Mr. Goldstone’s message, as described to The New York Times by the three people, indicates that the Russian government was the source of the potentially damaging information.”

New details from others involved in arranging the meeting point to additional Trump links to Moscow. Our Rosalind S. Helderman, Tom Hamburger and Greg Miller report: “The session was set up at the request of Emin Agalarov, a Russian pop star whose Kremlin-connected family has done business with Trump in the past … Emin Agalarov and his father, Aras Agalarov, a wealthy Moscow real estate developer, helped sponsor the Miss Universe pageant, then owned by Trump, in Russia in 2013. After the pageant, the Agalarovs signed a preliminary deal with Trump to build a tower bearing his name in Moscow, though the deal has been on hold since Trump started his campaign for president. …

“Goldstone previously told The Washington Post that he set up and attended the meeting so Veselnitskaya could discuss the adoption of Russian children by Americans. In a new statement, Goldstone confirmed what Trump Jr. said Sunday: that he enticed the then-candidate’s son by indicating that (Natalia) Veselnitskaya could provide damaging information about Democrats …

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